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Why 'Infant Mental Health'?
Why is our mental health during infancy important for our whole lives?

What do we mean by infant mental health?

‘Infant mental health’ (IMH) refers to how a child develops socially and emotionally from birth to three in the context of their family, community, and culture. IMH is the infant’s developing capacity to:

  • form close and secure adult and peer relationships
  • experience, manage, and express a full range of emotions
  • explore the environment and learn.

Understanding infant mental health is the key to preventing and treating the mental health problems of very young children and their families.

Zero To Three www.zerotothree.org

Pregnancy and the first postnatal year are particularly important in terms of giving every baby the best start in life. This period is a significant ‘window of opportunity’ to support all families. Parents who seek help when things are not going well are not only looking after themselves, they are looking after their baby as well.